Egypt • Devotion #1: Immanuel

“If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: ‘God with us.’” John F. MacArthur

I do not think it is even possible to comprehend those three words fully. We should feel encouraged and challenged once we realize that God is with us.

Isaiah 7:14 mentions several things about the Messiah, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” The Messiah would be born of a virgin. That is obviously mind-blowing in itself. The Messiah would be a son. The Messiah would be called Immanuel, which means God with us. Therefore, the Messiah is God.

Isaiah 8:8-10 starts by referencing Immanuel and closes with the phrase, “for God is with us.” It is a great gift to have God with us. Matthew Henry makes such a beautiful distinction in saying, “By the light of nature we see God as a God above us, by the light of the law we see Him as a God against us, but by the light of the gospel we see Him as Emmanuel, God with us.” God is transcendent and judge; yet, He is right beside us. He is with us.

Matthew 1:18-25 reads, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”

Mary is the only virgin ever to give birth. She fulfilled prophecy and gave birth to the Messiah, Jesus, Immanuel. God came into the world and joined us. He is Jesus.

Charles Spurgeon reminds us of both the realities of today and the glory of tomorrow, “Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor.”

God is with us!

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